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How to Grow Zanthoxylum fagara Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Wild Lime

Zanthoxylum fagara, better known as Wild Lime, is a perennial flowering shrub or small tree that is native to southern, dry, and arid climates of southern USA and Central America.

It also goes by the names Lime prickly-ash, Colima, and Corriosa. Despite its common name of Wild lime, the plant is not a part of the same genus as real limes and other fruit (though it does belong to the same citrus family; Rutaceae).

Zanthoxylum fagara is classified as a spreading shrub or small tree that can grow up to 23 feet tall (7 m).

Wild lime

Lime Prickly Ash at Highlands Hammock State Park photograph by Homer Edward Price.


It grows irregularly-shaped branches with pinnate leaves that grow to a length of about 2 inches (5 cm). Plants carry yellow flowers that bloom in early spring, and blackish-blue berries.

The perennial plant is usually grown as an ornamental shrub or small tree for the yard or garden.

Some people also grow this plant for its edible leaves, bark, and fruit. The leaves and bark can be crushed to make a bitter-tasting spice, and the fruit can be eaten to give a numbing sensation, similar to that from a Szechuan pepper

Gardener's HQ Zanthoxylum fagara Growing Guide

Zanthoxylum fagara grows best in hardiness zones 9 to 11 and requires a moderate amount of maintenance.

It prefers to be planted in a location with full sunlight, but it is tolerant of partially shaded areas.

The small tree is receptive to most soil types, the only requirement being that it is well-draining. It requires a low amount of water, and the soil should be allowed to dry out before being watered again.

Regular pruning of Zanthoxylum fagara can be performed for a more managed look, or to keep the plant in a smaller shrub-like form.

Zanthoxylum fagara Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Zanthoxylum fagara
  • Common Name: Wild lime
  • Growing Zone: USA: 9 to 11 (can survive in cooler zones, but may struggle); UK H5, hardy to about –15°C.
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Tree

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 180 to 300
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 180 to 300
  • Time of Bloom:
  • Flower Details: Yellow
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Rounded

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Medium paced
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation:
  • How to Prune:
  • Pests:
  • Diseases:

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of:
  • Best Garden Use: Border, En masse
  • Miscellaneous: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Periodic blooms
  • Genus Detail: Zanthoxylum
  • Further Reading and References: Wikipedia and Plant Atlas
  • Family: Rutaceae: Citrus and Rue Family
  • Closely Related Species: Prickly Ash; Southern Prickly Ash; and Chinese Pepper

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Zanthoxylum fagara. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Meadow Rue and Galega plants.



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